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'Happy birthday, dad': Late Paul Dossey gets two special gifts

‘Let’s continue the celebration of the sport he loved and this rink for many years to come,’ says son of Bradford's 'Mr. Hockey'

Paul Dossey may be gone, but his legacy will live on for years to come.

Mayor James Leduc and members of council were joined by members of Paul’s family — including his son, Geoff, and grandchildren — for the official opening of the South Simcoe Minor Hockey Association’s newly renamed Paul Dossey Memorial Tournament (formerly the Blue and White Classic) at the BWG Leisure Centre’s newly renamed Paul Dossey Rink (formerly the Blue Rink) on Friday morning.

The mayor spoke about Paul’s legacy in town, especially in the local hockey community. Paul became affectionately known as Bradford's "Mr. Hockey." 

“What a fitting day to kick off the Paul Dossey Memorial Tournament? Not only would today be Paul’s 67th birthday, but today we pay tribute to Paul’s lasting legacy, to his leadership and dedication, by renaming this rink in his honour,” he said. “To all of Paul’s family and friends, I know this isn’t an easy day for you, but I hope you’ll find comfort in knowing after everything that Paul has done for the community, we’re proud to honour him this way.”

Paul’s son, Geoff, acknowledged just how fitting a tribute it is, saying his dad wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else on his birthday than at the rink.

“To all the future hockey players and current hockey players, my dad would really want you to remember the thrill of winning, the lessons learned in defeat, the excitement of scoring your first goal or point, even just touching the puck and the nervousness of stepping out on to the ice for the very first time. Think about the kind of stories, friendships and joy that this game is going to bring,” he said. “Happy birthday, dad. Let’s continue the celebration of the sport he loved and this rink for many years to come.”

John Reilly emphasized the importance of Paul’s contributions over the years.

“For those who don’t know Paul, he was an amazing man. He was on our board for more than two decades, and he helped many families and players stay in the game and also go on to the next level,” he said. “Paul’s influence will be honoured for years to come with this renaming of the rink.”

In an email, Reilly added that Paul was a “massive part” of minor hockey who “volunteered countless hours” to the sport and the organization over decades, with some families even having multiple generations who played under Paul’s guidance.

Paul’s grandchildren performed the ceremonial first puck drop on the renamed rink before the South Simcoe Storm U11 AA team took on the King Rebellion, winning with a 5-0 shutout.

The tournament continues Saturday and Sunday with teams from U10 to U18, in A, AA and BB categories set to face off at three facilities: the BWG Leisure Centre, the Bob Fallis Sports Centre and the Nottawasaga Inn Resort — Centre Ice Sportsplex.

A full schedule can be found at

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Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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